The federal regulations for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) includes many provisions to protect the rights of parents and their child with a disability while also giving families and school systems means by which to resolve disputes. These rights are known as procedural safeguards. Parents and students have specific rights under this law to additional requirements for discipline under the statute 34 CR &300.530.
Under IDEA, the school personnel may consider any unique circumstances on a case-by-case basis, when determining whether a change of placement, is appropriate for a child with a disability who violates a school code of student conduct. This decision must be made in accordance with the following requirements related to disciplining students with disabilities.
In general, to the extent that school personnel may take action for children without disabilities, they may not remove a student with a disability for more than ten school days in a row. If a student with a disability who violates a code of student conduct is removed from their current educational placement for more than ten school days (or for the same incident of misconduct on separate occasions) then they must be placed in an appropriate interim alternative educational setting. This setting is determined by the student’s IEP team. School personnel may also impose additional removals of the student of not more than ten school days in a row that same school year for separate incidents of misconduct as long as those removals do not constitute a change of placement.
The services that must be provided to a student with a disability who has been removed from the student’s current placement may be provided in an interim alterative educational setting. A school district is only required to provide services to a student with a disability who has been removed from their current placement for ten school days or less in one school year if it provides services to a student without disabilities who has been similarly removed.
A student with a disability who is removed from the student’s current placement for more than ten school days must:
• Continue to receive educational services, so as to enable the student to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress toward meeting the goals set out in the student’s IEP and
• Receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention services and modifications that are designed to address the behavior violation so that it does not happen again.
If the removal is a change of placement, the student’s IEP team must reconvene to determine the appropriate services which will allow the student to continue to participate in the general education curriculum while in another educational setting and to progress toward meeting the goals which were agreed upon in the IEP.
In the next article, the process of manifestation determination will be discussed.